Lewis Hamilton Laughs off Ferrari F1 Rumours, Will Sign New Mercedes Contract

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 28:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in the garage during final practice for the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on March 28, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Reigning Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is on the brink of committing his long-term future to Mercedes, quashing rumours regarding a potential move to Ferrari by insisting a new contract is “99.6 per cent done.”

As noted by Jonathan McEvoy of the Daily Mail, the Scuderia president Sergio Marchionne is a big admirer of the British driver, but when asked about the prospect of donning the iconic all-red, Hamilton provided an emphatic retort.

“No, don’t be silly. My contract at Mercedes should be done this week,” said the Stevenage-born star, per McEvoy’s piece. “There’s no reason why not. Honestly, it’s 99.6 per cent done.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 15:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP attends the post-race press conference after the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 15, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty I
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

According to the aforementioned article, it’s a deal that will see Hamilton earn in excess of his current annual £20 million salary, but it won’t eclipse the gargantuan yearly wage of £35 million Ferrari will pay to have four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel in the cockpit.

Nonetheless, as noted by BBC Sport, the Brit will still be earning a rather substantial amount:

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The British driver has been a roaring success with his current employers ever since signing from McLaren in 2013, with Mercedes enjoying an emphatic stranglehold at the top of both the drivers' and constructors' championships in 2014.

But after Vettel’s win in Malaysia last time out, it looks as though they may face some much sterner competition this year.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 28:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP drives during final practice for the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on March 28, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

As noted in McEvoy’s piece, Hamilton doesn’t think the result was an anomalous one:

I don’t think they were lucky or it was a fluke. There’s always talk that they are easier on their tyres.

I think we’ll manage. We’ve got a great group of people, a great approach, and from this we’ll take a step back.

Second for me and third for Nico (Rosberg) is still good but they’re too close to us in the championship, so we’ll work very hard to analyse. It was not a kick; it was a pinch. We have now got a race on our hands.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 29:  Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari celebrates on the podium next to Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP after winning the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on March 29, 2015 in Kuala Lum
Clive Mason/Getty Images

It’s little surprise to see Hamilton willing to extend his stay at Mercedes. The car provided for the British driver remains the standout machine on the grid and in Nico Rosberg—while the two have endured a volatile relationship at times—he has a competitive team-mate that seems to push him toward even headier heights.

Leading the championship and with a bumper new contract imminent, things couldn’t be better for Hamilton at the moment. And while Mercedes remain the dominant force on the grid, with signs of life from Ferrari and Vettel, things could be about to get a whole lot more entertaining for fans of the sport too.